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MassMutual’s Data and Analytics Initiatives

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In View Summary

The explosion of internet enabled devices and location based sensors is providing insurers with a trove of new data sources with which to price insurance products and analyse risk in real time. In a sense, Big Data is nothing new to the insurance industry as insures have always depended on data sets and statistical inferences to price risk. However new data sources fuelled by location based devices and IoT are upending the traditional notion of data analytics.

As part of its continuous efforts to establish itself as a pioneering digital insurer, U.S based MassMutual is using data mining to identify consumer segments who may be interested in specific insurance products. MassMutual is also mining unstructured data sets from social media in order to design data driven product and services. These data efforts at MassMutual are underpinned by a renewed focus on fostering analytics talent in the form of sponsoring PhD studies in statistics through its Data Science Development Program.

MassMutual is also using its analytics capabilities to assist with internal ventures including Haven Life, an online term life insurance platform that uses an algorithmic underwriting tool and a series of related risk profiles to issue a life insurance policy within 20 minutes.

Data Science Development Program – Building Data Science Pipeline

MassMutual has also initiated an educational programme called the Data Science Development Program which will provide recent graduates an incentive to join MassMutual by demonstrating the cutting edge data mining initiatives at MassMutual.

massmutual-data-lab

MassMutual is leveraging analytics to design data driven products and services along with building a future pipeline of analytics talent through its Data Science Development Programme

Other key initiatives include:

  • A partnership with Medallia whose enterprise SaaS CEM solution enables MassMutual’s employees to gather, analyze, and act on customer feedback in real time.
  • MassMutual Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of MassMutual, is backing Picwell (provided a funding of $4 Million), which utilizes proprietary algorithms, Big Data, machine learning and behavioural economics to organize and analyze more than 900,000 variables that affect plan selection and narrow it to the top plans for each individual.
  • MassMutual Ventures is also backing Tamr, which combines machine learning algorithms with collective human insight to curate the massive variety of siloed data, giving customers dynamic 360-degree views of their businesses.

Reported Benefits

Benefit to Customers

  • Data driven, personalized and cost effective products.
  • Better engagement, outstanding experience.
  • Reduced service disruption.

Benefit to the Insurer

  • Improve business efficiency and customer experience.
  • Better customer service and fraud mitigation with accurate prediction and estimation.
  • Critical differentiation and competitive advantage.

The Digital Insurer's View

MassMutual’s focus on data-driven initiatives is clearly part of its strategy to drive growth by leveraging data to design new products and services. However it will be interesting to monitor whether the aggregate effect of all its data initiatives will have a significant impact on its bottom line.  Although the establishment of innovation labs and venture capital arms is timely, identifying the combination of cultural and business model shifts necessary to succeed in the digital era is still eluding most insurers.

References

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